Newsletter 15th December 2013
Today, the Third Sunday of Advent is know as Gaudete Sunday from the first words of the Introit Antiphon – Rejoice in the Lord. We use the rose coloured vestments today to show that we are half way through the penitential season of Advent. These vestments are only used twice a year – also in mid-Lent, so they have lasted well.
Today the choir will present a service of Christmas music and readings at 4.30pm in the Church. Afterwards there will be hot wine and mince pies in the Angelus Room.
The Parish Council meets on Monday evening at 8pm. I put out the Agenda papers last week.
There are no feasts of Saints this week as the Church prepares for the celebration of Christmas.
On Monday we start to use the “O” antiphons. These are a sung at Vespers before the Magnificat. Here is the complete list:
Dec 17 O Sapientia, Dec 18 O Adonai, Dec 19 O Radix Jesse, Dec 20 O Clavis David Dec 21 O Oriens, Dec 22 O Rex Gentium, Dec 23 O Emmanuel. At one time my learned friends used these instead of dates on their letters at this time of year.
The quiz question last week – these were names of winds from the North and the South.
Now here is a fantastic anagram: see if you can work out what this is:
O hark the herald angels sing the boy’s descent which lifted up the world. It would make it too easy if I were to give you the number of words.
The Crib is gradually taking shape – some of the figures have arrived this week and there will be some more next Sunday.
A reminder to the children that there will be a short rehearsal after the Mass for the mystery plays. Come to the front after the 9.30 Mass and you will then move to the big hall for the remainder of the rehearsal. The first part will take place at the 9.30 Mass next Sunday. Children with parts – remember to come early and you will find your costumes laid out in the big hall – so when you are ready, come to the Church and sit with your parents until the time for the play – which is after the gospel. There are still some vacant parts for the other two days – Christmas Day and 5th January and maybe they can be filled in today.
I am sorry to find that the great-nephew will not be with us on Christmas Day this year: it is the turn of the other grand-parents. We hope to see him in the days after the feast. My sister-in- law despairs – other children like “ The Tiger that came to Tea” but his favourite books includes a picture of a 176 bus crossing Waterloo Bridge.
A reminder of my recipe for hot wine is always useful at this time of year. I use half and half red wine and fizzy lemonade and add some sugar if the wine is a bit rough. As it heats up stir in some cinnamon and a few cloves and also some pieces of orange and lemon. Warm gently but do not allow it to boil over. If you want, you can add a drop of something stronger but this is not really necessary.
We are making very good progress with the Holy Communion classes – thanks to all the children and to the parents who have helped so much. The January class will be a special date as this is a date for the first confessions. Remember to mark this in the diary.
I am pleased to say that once again a student from the College in Spain will be coming to stay with us in January. More details to follow – but I know that he comes from the Diocese of Birmingham.
A prayer for Advent:
Heavenly Father who chose the Blessed Virgin Mary to be the mother of the promised Saviour; fill us your servants with your grace, that in all things we may embrace your holy will and with her rejoice in your salvation; through Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.
A poem from Belloc:
As a friend to the children commend me the Yak.
You will find it exactly the things:
It will carry and fetch, you can ride on its back,
Or lead it about with a string.
The Tartar who dwells in the plains of Tibet
(A desolate region of snow)
Has for centuries made it a nursery pet
And surely the Tartar should know.
Best wishes to you all
Monsignor Nicholas Rothon